Cloud-based document management systems (DMS) are exceptionally popular nowadays among SME’s because of their benefits over the on-premises deployment:
- 24/7 access to documents, wherever the location and devices are.
- Advanced collaboration abilities.
- Reduced expenses on IT staff, infrastructure and support.
- High-level data security
The online market offers numerous cloud-based document management solutions. Some of them are industry-particular and developed for banking, healthcare, engineering, and construction etc. For instance, a document management system based on SharePoint Online, an Office 365 component, is a perfect example of a cloud-based solution. In this post, let’s go through the features of document management system and characterize the fundamental features needed for small businesses, enterprises and regulated industries.
SharePoint Online DMS gives various highlights, particularly:
Capture: SharePoint Online DMS employs third-party optical character (OCR) tool to change paper reports into accessible PDF files.
Validation: SharePoint Online DMS utilizes visual validation system tools to consequently examine data during capture and guarantee they are free from technical errors, for example, missing symbols or ineffectively scanned pages.
Storage: SharePoint Online DMS permits storing important documents in libraries. Files with lower priority are automatically moved to vaults for documenting or deleting after a specific timeframe.
Indexing: Searching and tracking down electronic data is based on the content and metadata in SharePoint Online DMS.
Searching: SharePoint Online DMS offers search by title of the document, metadata and parts of the content.
Recovery: Documents are available in SharePoint Online DMS, regardless of the area they are stored, accessibility of Internet connection on all gadgets like cell phones, tablets, PC or workstations.
Circulation: Archives are distributed in SharePoint Online DMS in PDF formats that can’t be changed easily.
Work Flow: SharePoint Online DMS supports the workflow that automates the documents for signature, approval and feedback.
Collaboration: SharePoint Online DMS offers real-time collaboration that permits altering of documents by various users and showing changes to all the users.
Versioning: SharePoint Online DMS offers version control, which allows retaining the older version of the documents.
Security: SharePoint Online DMS offers user authorization levels, data encryption, antimalware protection and warning about sharing delicate information.
Coordination: Microsoft SharePoint Development demonstrates great compatibility with other products of Microsoft. It can also be effectively incorporated with ERP, CRM, BI, HR systems etc.
Core features relevant for Small Businesses
The things that value most for the small businesses are their daily work environment is time & cost-effectiveness and the DMS is no exemption. Some of the key features that turn out to be beneficial for small businesses are:
- Recovery and Access: Time is the most important asset for every small business and SharePoint Online DMS’s powerful full-text search based on metadata provides simple and fast retrieval of files thereby, accelerating the business operations.
- Security: Data security is key to every organization, as security breaks may end up in legal action and may end up in bankruptcy. Small business has limited resource and won’t be able to afford security admins and analysts. SharePoint Online DMS can turn to be the perfect solution for them, as it offers high-end security to data that boosts the confidence of small businesses.
- Combination: SharePoint Online is a platform with friendly integration. The increase in sales is a top priority for every businesses and integration online SharePoint DMS with CRM systems like Salesforce and Dynamic 365 will prove very effective.
Significant features for Enterprises
Having a viable DMS is a necessity for enterprises that need to guarantee the handling of various documents simultaneously. SharePoint Online offers many such features that help in rationalizing the enterprise document management.
- Catch and Approval: Enterprises has to deal with various types of document such as cost estimates, contracts, reports and invoices stored in different location and formats. With the help of OCR software, SharePoint Online DMS has the ability to change different document types into a single format readable and searchable.
- Indexing and Storage: SharePoint Online DMS indexing can help companies to categorize document, find and retrieve their reports effectively and precisely. SharePoint Online DMS list has around 30 million items, a library – up to 30 million documents and folders and size of these documents can reach up to 15 GB, which can completely satisfy necessities of the enterprise to document storage space. SharePoint Online DMS even supports rare file extensions such as .odt, .xslb, .ppsx and 3D models.
- Search and Access: SharePoint Online DMS has a powerful search and also supports in ranking results for enterprises which have thousands of documents within them. In SharePoint Online DMS, a search that is not any more successful however should be held for consistency purposes.
- WorkFlows, Collaboration and Versioning: Automated workflows enables organizations to streamline business operations within an enterprise. Enterprise workflow is generally non-linear, multilevel and enterprise departments can have a particular workflow of their own. Real-time collaboration enables employees to not waste time on emailing, re-opening documents and waiting for their turn to alter them.
- Security and Compliance: Regulatory compliance is critical for large organizations, particularly data security regulations, for example, Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX), Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) etc. SharePoint Online DMS enables the user to control who can see, edit and erase documents and builds up a system with many permission levels.
- Integration: Integration is essential for enterprises, as they have sophisticated document driven business processes. SharePoint offers good compatibility with other products of Microsoft. They can be easily incorporated with ERP, accounting systems, CRM, project management, HR, BI etc…
Features significant for Regulated Industries
Businesses that are monitored by the Government has to follow strict compliance with SOX, HIPAA, and FDA etc. To remain consistent, they have to guarantee an organized storing, quick recovery, visibility of all business activities and high data security. SharePoint Online DMS supports compliance with the help of below features:
Maintenance and Cancellation Policies: For supporting regulatory compliance, SharePoint Online DMS offers document maintenance scheduling and automated deletion of unused files.
Capture, Metadata, and Recovery: SharePoint and OCR software permit to convert paper documents into PDF files which help in auditing. SharePoint Online DMS offers broad metadata to each file for characterizing business data in order to make it easy for auditors to retrieve information.
Versioning and Workflow: SharePoint Online DMS provides version control that enables auditors to track all the changes made within a document. Automated workflow guarantee visibility to all business processes, as they give auditors real-time data of all the operations.
Security: SharePoint Online DMS offers high-end data security with their data encryption, access control, etc. It also gives a complete review trail of all document-related workflows such as edits, copies, retrieval, emails, prints out etc..
Qualities and Weaknesses of SharePoint Online DMS
As discussed above, SharePoint Online DMS can be a decent record administration device for little and vast organizations, and in addition for managed ventures. Furthermore, now we should view a few qualities of SharePoint Online DMS any business can appreciate and shortcomings they ought to know about.
- Because of its high scalability, SharePoint Online DMS grows extensively with an increase in the number of documents, it is even applicable to every SME’s.
- SharePoint Online is a platform that can be customized to any extent and can be molded to meet every particular requirement of document management.
- 24/7 access to reports from any gadget, from any location with the internet as well as offline access which has been synchronized to the cloud.
- Out-of-the-box collaboration with other Office 365 services and document processing tools.
- SharePoint Online out-of-the-box features aren’t compatible with role-based personalization scenario, where the tasks are assigned to users based on their activities. However, this drawback can be negotiated with customization and configuration.
- SharePoint Online DMS is only capable of storing a limited number of documents
stores a set number of report forms (50,000 noteworthy renditions and 511 minor adaptations) and it doesn’t furnish devices to contrast distinctive forms and straightforwardness.
- SharePoint Online DMS help the users to make a documentary record in a library or send a file to a Document Center. But their functionality doesn’t affect the document sets.
- UI and UX are not direct and require extra customization and user adoption.
- There is no chance to make a public portal in out-of-the-box SharePoint Online.
SharePoint Online DMS: A Typical Implementation Project
After going through the features and considering the advantages and disadvantages of SharePoint Online DMS, it bodes well to picture a typical implementation project. It generally comprises of the following stages:
- Examination and design of robotized workflow.
- Development of automated workflow.
- Design of SharePoint Online.
- Solution deployment.
- Change in UI and UX.
- User acknowledgment testing.
- Support in beneficial condition.
The duration of such projects solely relies upon client’s needs, managed content, company type etc. For instance, a moderate company manages documents in Word, PDF and Excel and basic linear workflows. The Out-of-the-box functionality of SharePoint can satisfy the requirements of a company in terms of document management. For a small enterprise, the implementation of a DMS takes around 4 to 6 months. In case of large engineering companies, with drawings, 3D models and construction plans in formats like DXF, DWG, OBJ, STL and sophisticated nonlinear workflows, it would take up to 6 to 12 months.
SharePoint Online DMS is one among the strongest solution in cloud-based document management software. Because of its flexible and highly customizable nature, it can fulfill the requirements of any business, as it’s applicable for enterprises, small businesses and any other industry. Custom SharePoint development offers a wide variety of features such as data security, logical storing and compliance to guiding records within their entire lifecycle. It recommends automating all document related activities, thus making the business performance more compelling. With SharePoint Online, it’s difficult to lose, delete, confuse, change or corrupt a file unnoticeably.